Today we moved forward in time one hour. Or we lost an hour of sleep to put it another way.
Still, when I think about time (jumping forward or back) my mind automatically goes to the subject of time travel, rather than setting the clock up or back. If we really had the ability to travel through time, what would it actually be like and how would we do it?
Figuring out how to make time travel plausible and realistic within a story is not easy. I will admit I love the aspect of time travel. It is exciting. Science fiction has had their characters traveling in time forever. And we've seen a resurgence in books and films lately. Too many to mention here. But some execute it believably well, others don't.
Although time travel has been a common plot in fiction since the late 19th century, and the theories of spatial and general relativity suggest methods, it is currently unknown whether the laws of physics would allow time travel into the past. Such backward travel would have the potential to introduce paradoxes related to causality. Simply put, by just being there a traveler could altar the past in ways we can't begin to imagine.
I would need sound technological and scientific reasons as to how and why it is done within my stories. So as is usual for me, I did (do) tons of research. Take current science theories and add imagination. Combine the two and I knew that's when ideas that could make time travel possible emerge. And with it stories that contain plausible time travel themes:
When the heroine steps through a time dilation Portal on the trail of a criminal who is using the Portal for selfish gain, she becomes swept up in the past, loses her prey, and also her connection to her own time. She has to figure how to leave minimal impact on the past, while trying to survive in a primitive environment, and also pick up the trail her quarry. Finally she must find her way back to her own time and try not to fall in love (or become involved) with the handsome knight who gives her aid. She knows without doubt the simple yet unavoidable contact with him has already altered the future. Her future.
Sound like a plausible idea for a time travel story? I thought so. And I'm now almost finished with the second book in the series.
Do you like writing or reading time travels? Though with any story, well developed characters are important, how much scientific theory or background do you think needs to be in a time travel story to make it realistic?